Some self-reflection on how music and math shaped my career choices as the end of the first year of my postdoc comes to a close.
All in the world recognize the beautiful as beautiful. Herein lies uglinessTao te jing. 2 By defining beauty we necessarily define ugliness, as not beauty or absence of beauty. By defining things that we want, we create the possibility of things we do not want. The Tao urges us to instead appreciate things for what… Continue reading Beauty and goodness
Grad school sucked up a lot of my time and energy. At one year from my defense, and 8 months from graduation, I'm ready to get back into some of the things that made me happy. Music Pre grad school, and even pre college, I played violin, clarinet, and piano pretty regularly. I've been practicing,… Continue reading Returning to my pre-grad school interests
Let us consider this waiter in the cafe. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes toward the patrons with a step a little too quick. He bends forward a little too eagerly; his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order… Continue reading Sartre’s PhD student
When I was a freshman I took calculus, like many biology majors. I was told I would fail, so naturally I absolutely had to get an A. My class was relatively small, about 50 students. A good variety of students, including gender and race, since it was in Louisiana. There was a group of loud… Continue reading How I was affected by stereotypes of women in math and philosophy
Socrates said, 'A wise man knows that he knows nothing.' It isn't possible to comprehend exactly how much you don't know if you don't know a tiny bit to begin with. Understanding the sheer magnitude of knowledge and understanding out there is one of the first things encountered by someone who seeks to understand the… Continue reading Self Awareness
Some people may be more aware of relatively popular ancient philosophers. This graphic shows the diversity of modern philosophical thought. Some of my favorites include: Merleau-Ponty - described the phenomenon of facial recognition, even across species. Focault - wrote some very interesting post-Freudian analyses of sexuality, particularly heteronormativity and its effect on society's views of… Continue reading Modern philosophy
There are many different beliefs about the meaning of life. This infographic mixes up existentialism and logical positivism. Existentialism and absurdist are very closely related, as demonstrated in Camus' Myth of Sisyphus. Another Asian philosophical tradition is Taoism, which is very closely related to existentialism.
Aristotle was one of the first philosophers to posit that man desires happiness first and foremost. His answer to this drive for happiness was the golden mean. The golden mean sits between the two extremes - excess and deficiency. He believed that moderation between two extremes of behavior would produce happiness. This is somewhat in… Continue reading Aristotle’s Golden Mean
Camus wrote "The Myth of Sisyphus" after the suicide of his wife. He wanted to prove that life was worth living, despite its inherent absurdity. Camus described four steps of realizing that life is absurd: - The realization that our core beliefs may be wrong. - Mundane repetition of daily activities. - Realization that it… Continue reading We must imagine Sisyphus happy